Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Oh dear. What do I say about this movie? It was a highly anticipated movie among the Christian community. I remember seeing a poster for it at church even before it came out. It's Netflix rating is 4.3 stars out of 5. In other words, it came with good recommendations.
The movie is about a football coach at a Christian high school. It follows his struggles to create a winning team and how he leads the kids to trust in God. The coach and his wife are also dealing with some difficult issues at home, including finances and infertility.
We watched it last night right after American Idol. I have to honestly say that I giggled throughout the first half of the movie - even the serious parts. The script and the acting were just so cheesy, I couldn't help it. At times I felt like I was watching a skit in the sanctuary, rather than a movie! (This was especially true during the conversations between the kicker and his father.) Finally, about half way through, things began to change a little and I was able to engage in the story line rather than focus on the acting. By the end, I was up on my knees in anticipation of the final play of the game. And, yes, I felt a little sting in my eyes as the coach collapsed under the overwhelming faithfulness and goodness of God.
The message was great. The acting and script got better as the movie went on. (My friend Christine did warn me about that.) And overall it was a feel good story with all the loose ends neatly tied up. A nice little Christian movie.
Comparing to the movies we normally watch, though, I couldn't possibly rate this movie very high. Why do Christian films have so much trouble being good? I'm sure that money is part of the problem, but are good scripts a money problem? I mean sometimes the dialogue was so hokey, it was totally distracting. It just doesn't make sense to me why Christian films can't compete and, really surpass, Hollywood movies. The quality must improve or even we Christians won't be willing to support the efforts.
In the end, is it worth seeing? I'd say "probably". It does have a good message overall...as Christine said, "if you can get past the acting."
If you're interested, here's the review from Christianity Today (an excerpt is below):
"One must also acknowledge that the film—made on a $100,000 budget by a Baptist church in Albany, Georgia—has its heart in the right place; there are good lessons here about honoring God in everything that we do, the importance of respect and leadership, and the power of prayer. Those are all things viewers could benefit from hearing. Whether they ever will hear them, though, is another matter—when a film is as unintentionally corny as this one, it's anyone's guess as to how many viewers can stomach all the schmaltz for the positive message at the end."